Thursday, July 31, 2008

Do you have Eternal Life?

And what do you think eternal life is in the first place?

Let's back up and figure out what life is to begin with. If you look it up in the dictionary, you will find numerous meanings. I was a little overwhelmed with the number of meanings found on, but then it made sense. Because to me life is so much more than just taking a breath, and I am willing to bet that you would agree. Some say life is related to the amount of grandeous experiences that one has while alive - like visiting the most countries, or hiking Mt. Everest, or such as that. One might relate it instead to the number of football games that he is able to attend. Some may relate it to how many things and how much stuff one has. Or maybe some would say it is related to how much you give away to others. Some even relate it to how "good" you can be or are.

But let's face it, real life, while it can be full of many pleasures and comforts is full of heartaches and pain and suffering too, so I suppose life is that which we do everyday as long as we are living or alive, at least for the purposes of this blog. Is there hope for the suffering to "experience" life?

I got to thinking about all of this last week in preparation for "Life Connection" which is what we call Sunday school at my church. And even though, LC has come and gone, I can't seem to get this topic off of my mind.

Okay, so now that we know life pertains to each of us is individually and what we wake up and do, let's talk "eternal life." Eternal life is everlasting, never ending, infinite life. Do you have it? Do you want it? Do you believe it exists? And if so, what does it look like now?

I believe that there exists an absolute truth found in the Bible, God's Holy word, written as His love letter to every man. And in this Bible, which is composed of both Old and New Testament, it tells me how to receive eternal life. It says that it is received through Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, I believe he is the only way to eternal life. Stay with me until I get to the really good stuff.

I think that most followers of Jesus think of this eternal life as beginning after we die on this earth, even though we know we have "new life" (born again) when we accept Him as Lord, but it really begins when we accept Him, so NOW, as soon as you accept Him in your life.

I have a relationship with Christ, so therefore I have right now, this moment, eternal life. And if I have "eternal" life right now, it is something extraordinary, not something to take lightly or play around with. All of the sudden everything I do, everything I say, has meaning, has purpose, has great importance to somebody, and not just somebody, THE somebody of somebodies - GOD! Wow! And no, I cannot contain it - I must shout it from the rooftops. To have abundant, eternal life, even when everything seems mundane on the outside - that is extremely awesome, incredible and exciting. That is hope everlasting. Now, if you live a life of suffering, of sorrow, of sameness, there is hope for you too. You can watch TV all day (if that's what you do because of the circumstances life has given you) and still have abundant life. All of the trials I go through as a mom, every dull moment, can have meaning when I allow God to do His thing in that moment. John Piper says, "God is is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him." At this moment, I totally understand that statement!

So my takeaway if you've made it this far with me is this: if you are a follower of Christ, "make the most of every opportunity" (Col 4:5).

If you are not a follower, but you would love to have abundant, meaningful life - please ask me for more information. I want everyone to know this blessed, wonderful truth! Here is a link to more information. Please let me know if you ask Christ to be your Savior.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

We are the Pirates...

who don't do anything - we just stay home and lie around. If you ask us to do anything, we'll just tell you, we don't do anything!

I got to take A to her very first movie in the big movie theatre today. The Rave hosted free family movies this summer, and all summer I was ready to take A to see one of two that I thought would be suitable for her. The only problem was not having anyone to watch E. (I really need to find a sitter!) But my very wonderful husband came home from work to watch him for a few hours so we could go! Thank you, sweetie!

I had to give her the full affect, so I bought her popcorn and some lemonade. She ate it all and rarely took her eyes off the larger than life screen. However, she didn't seem all that excited, until much later when we had been home for a while, when she began talking about going to the popcorn store and driving me in the "ban" to see a "mubie" called the "Pirates who don't do in-y-ting." I guess she did talk about going to see another "mubie" another day sometime when we were leaving.
The movie was actually pretty good, and even though it was not blatantly Christian themed, it did have some Christian undertones in the end. You don't have to be good looking or rich or eloquent or perfect to be a hero, all you have to do is listen to the King's voice, and He will take you on His adventure and show you who you can be when you are on a journey with Him. He makes the provisions and all you have to do is choose to be obedient. Good little takeaway message for me personally - to know that I am on adventure with Him - that I don't have to be what I think everyone is expecting me to be, only what God created me to be.

Friday, July 25, 2008

July beach slide show

Sharing and Serving - meeting physical needs?

A did excellent at the pool on our trip to the beach. She is now able to go under the water all by herself, and E tried to follow accordingly. He wants to be just like his big sister. She made great strides in learning to swim this past weekend. The pool had a kiddy-like area where E was able to walk around, and he loved that!

We attempted the unthinkable and took the children to a water park! Now, I know you have to be thinking, "What! Are you crazy?!" Well, yes, we are, but my family wanted to go, so we did it anyway. We didn't know how much help we would have with the kids or if we would be watching them in the kiddie areas all day, but we actually managed to go down a couple of the adult slides. And E managed to take both of his naps that day. You never know what you are capable of until you try it. If you know me a little bit, you know that in my past life, i.e., high school, college, I was not very daring. I mean, yes, I was somewhat adventurous, but a big waterslide or a roller coaster was not my thing. The roller coaster thing mainly has to do with a great fear of heights, but anyhow, I went down a very scary all enclosed black water slide BY MYSELF (as A would say), and my husband was quite proud of me.

This got me to thinking about fears and what we should be doing for the kingdom of God. How often do we stop shy of saying what we should say for fear of what someone would think. How often do we stay in our little zones of comfort and never step outside of the box to meet new people, form new relationships, and share Christ the way that we should.

Wednesday night, we attended our church's bible study, which was on the parable of the rich man (Luke 16). Basically, Jesus's parable instructs us to give and do for the poor. Now I think that this is somewhat pathetic, but I don't know many people in the world around me with genuine physical needs.

Earlier that day, my daughter and I gathered up loads of stuffed toys to give away to other boys and girls. What I want to do is actually find a family or some children who need these toys and take my kids to them, but I do not know where to find them or how. I will post more when I do find them.

Again, this got me to thinking - why do I live where I do? I certainly want to be in an area where I can minister to others. Certainly, God has not called me to live a cushy comfortable life so I can sit back and relax! And who exactly is the needy in my area? I say most of my neighbors need to know Christ, so they are needy in a spiritual sense, but who are the needy in a physical sense? How can I come up with a plan to meet physical needs besides just donating my leftovers to the goodwill, Hannah Home, or the like (which I do regularly). I want to be known for serving others as Christ has so humbly served me and continues to do so. If anyone that is reading this knows of needs, please contact me. I grew up in an impoverished county, so not knowing someone needy is new to me. I did think of contacting a women's shelter and going from there... If you already know how to meet needs like this or know of needy in your area, please let me know. I feel somewhat ashamed that I don't know where to begin...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kid's updates and favorites

A has been attending church camp, Session 2. This is the first time she has attended anything "formal" in the way of preschool or serious child care. It is only 2 days a week for 3 weeks, and she will attend 5 of the 6 sessions, since we were at the beach for one of them. I have slightly mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, she is with kids her age with planned activities. On the other hand, reality says she is growing up, and I want all of her extra time with me before kindergarten. I mean she already does everything for herself because she is a "big gurl, mommy". And yes, doing these things - like dressing herself and going to the potty and climbing into the car, etc. are goals I had for her. E is all boy and I spend much of my time fixing the messes he gets into - when she was the same age I was able to stop them BEFORE they happened, not AFTER, so it is quite nice to have one that is able to do something for herself, if even a little bit. Of course, we do not plan for A to attend Mother's Day Out (MDO) in the fall, but I wonder if maybe we should. Her teacher has been singing her praises - she even thought was really 3. She says she is such a good helper and well spoken. (She should be with all the reading she does!!) I am so proud of her and want to give her the opportunities she needs to grow!

And I don't know what all the other mommies do with their time, but it is really hard to divide it among two kids. I spent every minute teaching A from the moment she was born, but I don't teach E the same way because he is different, and I fear I don't do as well of a job with him, though I can tell he catches on as well as A does/did just a little differently. I am sad because the kids are growing up fast, and I don't know if I will have any more. I would love to, but I wonder if I will be able to afford it. The third one will need more thought in the finance dept.

A is sleeping in a big girl bed now and stays dry in her undies, minus the #2 aspect of which she always manages to do when I am doing something for E.

A's favorite things right now:
  • books
  • dress up
  • Cinderella and princesses
  • brushing her hair and looking pretty
  • learning to write and read(?), markers
  • hugging and kissing E

E's favorite things right now:

  • Brown bear, brown bear by Eric Carle
  • Little One, God Made You (book)
  • Little Tykes vehicles
  • walking and running
  • hugs and kisses, especially for A
  • stuffed animals
  • pointing and making word sounds and some animal sounds
  • climbing up and down stairs
  • mainly, exploration of any kind!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Birthday E!

Happy Birthday E!
Big Sister A in her monkey themed dress!
The monkey Birthday cake!
E's cake
Eating his first taste of cake

We had a Happy Birthday party for E on Sat, but his birthday is July 13! Happy 1st Birthday, E!
And my friend Lindy had her baby boy on E's birthday today at roughly 2:35! He weighed 7 lbs 10 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. How exciting!! I can't wait to meet him and see pics!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Road Less Traveled

I have been "waxing nostalgic" as of late. First of all by reading blogs from my follow bloggers Josh and Amanda I began to think more of my place in life. It is so true like Amanda said in her blog "Sidekick" that we are created for adventure and that we have many selves that we present to the rest of the world. Josh reminded me in his blog "Feed it" that we have to keep "feeding" our visions to get to that final destination you want to be in, to keep going toward the vision you desire to see fulfilled. I am a sentimentalist, a dreamer, a questioner, a lover of life, and it is here in blog world that I get to do that for a few minutes. It is rare that I get to take the time to ask life's questions, to dream, to be, except here in blogworld, where I feel free to say, be, me. Second, I mentioned before that I had joined Facebook, where I have come to find old and new friends, so I've been reminded of my "old" selves, my "old" lives.

This week I found an old friend from high school, one that I used to be close to, but one that was I was estranged from during my senior year, and thus a friendship that has long since been dissolved. She reminded me that I used to want to major in corporate law. It seems foreign to me that 1) I was once bold enough to walk away from a friendship, and 2) that I ever wanted to be mainstream. I suppose some may consider me to be mainstream today, but I've always felt that I walked to "the beat of a different drummer." I remember myself too shy and too unconfident to ever walk away from my secure friendships, but somehow I survived a whole year without that friendship. It is much more complicated that I can detail here, but I digress. What if I had taken the path of most glory according to the world and became something like a doctor or a lawyer? Where would I be today? It is a strange thought to consider. I guess engineer counts toward that end, but I've never defined myself as an engineer, so I probably need special glasses to see myself that way.

I am so very glad that I am here in Birmingham with a husband and 2 kids and so very far from corporate Jamie that I guess I could have become. Because even though I was an engineer, corporate life never made me happy. Yes, I had a great sense of accomplishment, which I miss greatly, but the overachiever that I've always been would still not be happy if I did not bring glory to Father and do what He has created me to do. So I've been thinking about the road less traveled and the future path I will take when the kids get older. I was glad to talk to my old friend because during college my love for God grew and I always wanted to express both repentence and forgiveness to her. As I ponder and mesh all these thoughts together, I'm so very mindful of the Road Less Traveled, Robert Frost says it best:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Okay, so just in case you didn't want to read about a poop accident, you saw in the title what this one was going to be about.

Tonight we went to Costco, and when we got home, I had to discipline A. While I was doing that, Daniel went to change E. I go upstairs, and Daniel tells me, E is in his room and I just changed his diaper. He makes a point to tell me that he has a clean diaper on, so I tell A to go upstairs because we are going to get ready for bed. She is taking off her clothes and putting on her jammies. E is crawling around and walking, with his clothes hanging loosely as Daniel did not button them up after he "diapered" him. Then I noticed him doing a #2, so I go to get him to change him and put his jammies on when yes, I find that he has no diaper on whatsoever!! Oops! I was just wondering if these things ever happen to anyone else?

BTW, E has started walking pretty good these days. And A is almost potty trained. The whole potty training thing has taken us a long time, maybe we started too early, maybe not early enough. But we are finally getting somewhere. I'm certainly no expert!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th of July

A waiting for the fireworks show E at the fireworks show, hamming it up for the camera
Daniel, A, E, and Nana - A had to move closer to E to take care of him
A in Grandma's new pool earlier in the day

Cousin A
E doing his usual thing
She's a natural beauty & star (in the kiddy pool)

It was the first time for E to see the fireworks, and he loved them. He just stared at them with his mouth gaping open and pointing at them, like, "Look, look!"
This was really neat because after the fireworks show, A proceeded to give a long dialogue about how beautiful and colorful and fun it was to see them. We love it when she converses with us like that - it is so neat and unexpected. Then she said, "Thank you for taking me to the fireworks show." No one prompted her to do this! How proud we are of her!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I am tired

It's late, and I should be in bed. But lately, I stay up too late, my babies wake me up too early, and I am just simply tired all day long, and then what do I do, stay up late again, and by the time I get to bed, I am wired and too awake to sleep. All this with out caffeine.

Generally I have required a lot of sleep all of my life. When others were pulling all nighters to study or partying all night in college - not me, I was sleeping, whether it meant pass or fail, with a couple of exceptions due to my friend and study partner, Kari.

But now I have two children, who are very young, 2 and 1 next week, so they have a lot more energy than me, and my two year old rarely if ever naps anymore. I think I require more sleep than she does.

This week, I am still tired from my Vegas trip, and each day has been a fun-filled packed day - Monday the park for a walk and you know, park stuff. Tuesday driving to my mom's for the pool, visiting my grandparents. Wednesday playgroup in Greystone. Tomorrow the library. I'm not sure I have the energy for it all. I like to get out for my adult sanity - to be around other adults too, and to give my daughter some social stimulation with her peers. My one year old is still too young for much of that to matter. I need some new library books for the kids, but I think we may stay home tomorrow. Enough is enough for this tired momma. I'm not much different than a tired cranky baby when it gets tired - it just fusses until it gets some sleep.

When I think of all that Jesus did as just a man, even God in a man's body, it is amazing. But even he had to withdraw and find rest in the Father. Father, grant me refreshing rest tonight. Quiet me with your singing, and let me once again find my strength in you.


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